Manvi’s masterpiece

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A painting by a talented young artist has been chosen for display at a prestigious public location

Manvi Rastogi (8) with her painting Sunshine Town on display at Armory Gallery as a part of Operation Art

It is every young artist’s dream to have their painting hung in a public place where it can be admired by throngs of people everyday. Manvi Rastogi is just 8, and has already achieved this distinction. Her painting Sunshine Town, is one of the handful chosen from the Operation Art Exhibition to be displayed for a year, at the head office of NSW Commission for Children and Young People, before being hung permanently at one of the state’s regional hospitals.

Manvi is a veteran of Operation Art, an initiative of the Westmead Children’s Hospital, in association with the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities. The Premier’s state-wide exhibition provides a platform for schools and students from kindergarten to year 10 to demonstrate their visual arts achievements through exhibitions at the Armory Gallery, Sydney Olympic Park and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

All schools from the state are invited to enter four paintings for the exhibition. The contestants are encouraged to create cheerful and uplifting artworks suitable for display in hospitals. All entries find a place in the exhibitions, and 50 are chosen to become part of the permanent collection at the Westmead Children’s Hospital.

Manvi’s paintings have been making the cut for the past three years from Haberfield Public School, but this is the first time her work has been chosen for the permanent collection. Her winning entry this year is a bright watercolour and oil pastel landscape created on A2 size poster paper.

Speaking to Indian Link, mum Megha Rastogi was rightly proud of her daughter’s achievement admitting that “It is very encouraging to have Manvi reach this level. Her success has reinstated in us that we need to support her talent even more”. Manvi receives no formal training in art, but her artistic flair is inherent from her mum and maternal grandmother.

Sunshine Town is a brightly coloured piece featuring a large sun overlooking houses nestled on a hill. “It represents love, hope, peace and happiness,” explained Manvi.

Megha observed that her daughter’s paintings often included a big, bright sun, which to her, signifies the positivity, hope and happiness that the child is trying to convey through her art. “For the last two years I had been painting animals for Operation Art, so this time I wanted to do something different,” Manvi said talking about Sunshine Town. “I wanted to draw mountains and houses”. She took to the internet and sifted through picture books for inspiration to come up with the unique piece.

Manvi loves to paint animals and buildings. She experiments with varied mediums like watercolour, acrylics and oil pastels, but admits her favourite is watercolours. She is a quick painter, revealing her winning entry Sunshine Town took only 45 minutes to complete.

Manvi is not sure whether she wants to be an artist when she grows up, because there is so much to explore yet. In addition to indulging in her painting pursuits, Manvi sticks to a wholesome schedule with swimming, cricket, photography and learning to play the violin featuring prominently in her life. But she innocently admits, “what I enjoy most is cooking with my mum”.

Apart from Operation Art, Manvi has participated in the Harmony Day competition every year and has entered and won the K-Mart Art Competition in the past. She is always on the hunt for more competitions and is planning on continuing to participate in Operation Art.

The exhibition at Armory Gallery is on until October 27 and with a record 897 entries, the 2013 Operation Art offers a unique opportunity to witness the creativity of Manvi and other young masters in the making, for free.